Kathy Jentz : Hi, I am Kathy Jentz, Editor and Publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine taking about how to winterize your vegetable garden and now we are going to talk about saving seeds.
So, the first thing you want to do before you take down everything in your vegetable garden and clear it out for the winter time is save those seeds for next year so you get a head-start in the season, you can be soiling them in January, labeling them and drying them and of course starting them indoors so you can get a head-start in the season outdoors. So, let's start saving some of those seeds. Of the easiest of course, are your flowers, your sunflowers, your herbs,your zinnias and marigolds. So, I will show how to do a sunflower really quickly. So I will take one of the seed heads and you are going to take some white paper and this is both easy for collection and so you can see your seeds and then spill it all over the ground and we are going to pull some of those seeds out. Okay. So once we have a good amount of seed, we can put them in envelope and label them. I like to use clear baggies just to see what I am doing and use masking tape to label. So there are your sunflowers, label them immediately because seeds can look like every other seed and once you get 5 or 10 baggies going, you will never know what you have later on in the season. So we are going to label them immediately and if we know the exact variety, that's always nice and it's always also good to put when you collected them. Seeds stay viable for years and decades but you want the freshest seeds you can and you want to use up all those old seeds. So, sunflowers and we will put the month and year. The other type of seeds you will be collecting in your vegetable garden of course , will be from your vegetables and we have some of the last of the season peppers here and you will split those open and of course a ton of seeds will be inside and because vegetables are still rather wet at this time of year, you'll need to dry them out and my recommendation is to use an aluminum pie-pan or aluminum foil, not to dry them on paper because they will stick like glue at the end and you won't be able to get your seeds back off that paper. So you will be taking the pulp out separating it from the seeds, giving them a good wash and then spreading the seeds out in the sunny hot room, maybe on a window sill to dry out. Then doing the same process of saving them in a baggy and labeling them for the end of the season. So those are some tips on saving seeds from your vegetable garden. Next we will talk about saving your last harvest of the season.